As selected by Brewerytown Beats
Jamie/Guyden traces its history to the first releases on Guyden Records in 1954. 1955 saw the founding of Universal Record Dist. Corp., perhaps the first distributor started for the new rock 'n roll era.
Jamie and Guyden were at first distributed by Gone and End Records, the labels of one of rock ‘n roll’s earliest legendary entrepreneurs, George Goldner. Goldner’s own labels put out Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers’ "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Goldner helped out the fledgling Jamie and Guyden by providing them with productions like the Heartbeats’ "One Million Years" (Guyden 2011) and Johnny ivers’ "There’s a Hole in the Ground"
Universal Record Distributing Corp. was founded in 1955 as a regional distributor for the area of Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. The labels it distributed regionally included Archie Bleyer’s Cadence Records (the Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, "The First Family" comedy album), A&M (Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, Captain and Tennille, Paul Williams, the Carpenters, Sandpipers, Joe Cocker), Chess, ABC Paramount, MGM and Epic Records, as well as George Goldner’s labels. By the end of the 50s, Jamie/Guyden had had hits that included Duane Eddy's worldwide hits starting with "Rebel Rouser," Mitchell Torok’s "Caribbean," and Donnie Owens’s "Need You."
In the 1960s Jamie/Guyden was as well known for the labels it distributed nationally as for its own output. Most prominent of all was Phil Spector’s Philles Records and its string of hits that included the Crystals’ "Uptown," the Ronettes’ "Be My Baby," Bob E. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ "Zippity Doo Dah" and Darlene Love’s "He’s Sure the Boy I Want to Marry." Its other distributed labels were Arctic, with Barbara Mason’s "Yes I’m Ready," Dionn with Brenda & the Tabulations’ "Dry Your Eyes," Montel, with Dale and Grace’s "I’m Leaving It All Up to You" and Sundi with Mercy’s "Love (Can Make You Happy)."
The company started its own r&b and soul label, "Phil-LA of Soul," (pronounced Filet of Soul), which had Cliff Nobles’ "The Horse" and the Fantastic Johnny C’s "Boogaloo Down Broadway." Jamie and Guyden tried to ride the wave of the doo-**** revival, which fizzled in the wake of the British invasion. Jamie’s participation in British rock included Crispian St. Peter’s "Pied Piper."
In the mid to late 70s, independent record labels found themselves at a disadvantage against the major distribution companies that grew from the acquisition of the significant independent labels. Jamie/Guyden survived through Universal’s deft switch from distribution to one-stopping, where it handled the product of all the major labels and continued to sell to its solid base if independent record stores. Universal Records and Tapes became the pioneering modern one stop, handling all the major and independent releases from its growing warehouse in downtown Philadelphia. Nearly 20 years later it was still there, ready to put out its original releases on CD, with the label tucked into one corner of one of the United States’s largest and by far its oldest music wholesaler still operating with the same management that it started with in the 1950s.